“The Ramble in Central Park: A Wilderness West of Fifth”
In 1860, The New York Times complained that the newly minted Ramble in Central Park lacked signs to help visitors find their way out. It was no accident. “The Ramble’s designers’ goal was to make this small area of 38 acres seem large and complex by utilizing winding, twisting paths, and shrubbery and rock hills that blocked visibility,” the photographer Robert A. McCabe writes.
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/...OOK1-popup.jpgFrom "The Ramble in Central Park" by Robert A. McCabe [Abbeville Press]
FLORA, FAUNA The Ramble, a 38-acre wilderness that some call the soul of Central Park.
In “The Ramble in Central Park: A Wilderness West of Fifth” (Abbeville Press, $35), Mr. McCabe presents his dazzling full-color, four-season photographs of the Ramble, which Douglas Blonsky, president of the Central Park Conservancy, calls “indisputably still the soul of Central Park.” Other contributors weigh in on the Ramble’s flora, fauna and geology in a book that itself is a welcome harbinger of spring.
“The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn: Gentrification and the Search for Authenticity
Brownstone Brooklyn is also the subject of a cultural, architectural and political history by Prof. Suleiman Osman, who was raised in Park Slope and teaches American studies at George Washington University.
In “The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn: Gentrification and the Search for Authenticity in Postwar New York” (Oxford University Press, $29.95), Professor Suleiman explores how Brooklyn south of the old city was transformed into trendy neighborhoods like Cobble Hill and Park Slope by “young white-collar émigrés.” Beginning in the 1970s, they made up a “new postindustrial middle class” of pioneers who were later pilloried as gentrifiers amid debates about displacement, development and affordability.
“Brownstone Brooklyn was committing the cardinal sin of middle-class romantic urbanism: it was becoming ‘inauthentic,’ ” he writes. But, he adds, while newcomers in search of “the real Brooklyn” venture deeper into the borough, beyond Park Slope, “it is safe to say that Seventh Avenue represented both the remarkable potential of the politics of authenticity and its limits.”